October 2, 2023

Dubai SME and IFC host corporate governance workshop for Dubai SME100 firms

DUBAI- The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, together with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, hosted a workshop to help the Dubai SME100 companies understand the concept of corporate governance, and how to implement it in line with their stage of growth.

Workshop 1The two-day workshop, attended by more than 40 participants, addressed challenges that limit SME growth and profitability, with a focus on family-owned businesses. Other topics included forming advisory boards and board of directors, management control and risk management. The workshop also demonstrated the relevant best practices and highlighted the key roles corporate governance plays in fostering stakeholder trust and sustained growth.

Commented Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME: “We are delighted to partner IFC, an esteemed global institution, to organise the Corporate Governance workshop for SMEs.Our SME participants found it extremely enriching, yet practical, to implement initiatives befitting their stage of development.  Many SMEs which had attended the earlier workshop have implemented plans to be more corporate governance-ready, and are benefitting from it.” Al Janahi added that sound corporate governance helps businesses expand sustainably, create transparency, and allow high-quality performance for generations to come.

“Corporate governance is key to sustaining private sector led growth and a regional priority for IFC,” said Deepak C. Khanna, Head of IFC in the UAE. “By becoming more transparent and efficient, companies find it easier to attract investors and capture profitable growth opportunities.”

SMEs contribute significantly to economic growth and employment generation in MENA, where family-owned businesses are a common business model. In Dubai, they constitute around 95 per cent of all businesses and contribute to almost 40 per cent of the economy’s value-add and 42 per cent of the workforce.

Launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, Dubai SME100 identifies the top-performing SMEs in Dubai to help groom them into bigger and more sustainable enterprises, and support them through their growth into larger, internationally-oriented companies. Post-ranking the SMEs will be exposed to areas of professional development that will help them move to the next level.

The workshop was part of a regional IFC initiative that aims to help small and medium businesses improve performance and profitability, and is funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

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